are pleased to be in partnership with The
CV Centre, the UK's leading CV consultancy, in bringing
you a helpful range of graduate advice articles.
you have emerged from the long hard slog of your final exams,
the next item on the agenda for most graduates is likely to
be launching your career. Temporary work can be a great way
to bridge the gap - both in terms of finance and experience
- between those years of full-time study and your desired
future position in the work place.
About Your Needs
is, by its very nature, flexible and so it can be worth using
this to your advantage. Make sure you are clear in your own
mind about the hours, location and type of work etc. that
you would like, and of your ultimate goal. Are you looking
for a stopgap purely to raise some cash or are you looking
for experience in a specific field? Temping contracts can
also vary enormously, from a few hours, or days, a week to
several weeks or months. This flexibility means that you could
request to work for a few days each week, so that you can
use the rest of the week for intensive job hunting or for
further studying for example.
agency? - There are many temping agencies to choose from,
particularly dealing with secretarial and administrative positions,
but there are also many that deal with specific sectors, for
example, media, IT, publishing, finance, legal, bilingual,
hospitality, etc. There are even agencies which deal specifically
with part-time positions. It is usually possible to join more
than one agency, giving you the widest possible opportunity
for obtaining work. However this can also cause difficulties
if several agencies are constantly calling with opportunities
for work. If you find you have too many agencies to deal with,
it might be a good idea to decide on a couple which you have
found provides the work you need, and inform the remainder
that you are unavailable for work for a while.
Contact - Consult the websites of relevant agencies or
call their reception desk to find out their application process.
It is likely that in the first instance they will want you
to see a copy of your CV, after which they may call you in
for an interview and give you a series of tests to assess
Yourself - Make sure your CV is up-to-date and presents
your qualifications, skills and experience as effectively
as possible. It is particularly important that the agencies
can contact you quickly and easily by phone or email. Also,
consider the experience you have carefully. As a recent graduate
you may not have a great deal of experience in the workplace.
However, you are likely to have a wealth of experience which
you have gathered in other ways - Remember the administration
of the fund-raising campaign for your degree show or field
trip and the time management skills you have acquired through
juggling bar work, study, travel, etc. These may not all be
things you would include in your CV but they might be useful
examples of experience which you could cite in your interview
with the agency. If you are having trouble deciding exactly
what to leave in and what to leave out of your CV it is clearly
worth consulting with The
CV Centre. We can make sure your CV hits the right note
and presents your skills and experience in the best possible
light, so that you have the best possible chance of reaching
the interview stage.
- If you register with several agencies you will begin to
get a feel for the going rate for the type of work your are
undertaking. Bear this in mind, as well as the hourly rate
at which it is financially viable for you to undertake the
position, when an agency asks how much you expect to earn
per hour. Don't forget to make sure you find out the rate
of pay for each position before you accept the contract, the
payment procedure, whether weekly or monthly, and, if you
have a time sheet, who it should be signed by and the deadline
for submission to the agency.
have been accepted onto an agency's books you will usually
find that they will begin to call you with offers of work.
If you accept the work there a few things to remember to make
sure things run smoothly.
be late! - make sure you find out from the agency where
you will be working, who to report to when you arrive, and,
if necessary, the best way to travel there.
Dress Code - ensure you know the dress code - wearing
a suit in the wrong environment can be almost as bad as turning
up in jeans to work as a receptionist.
Time Out - find out whether you are expected to take
a lunch break and for how long - don't assume you will automatically
be paid for working through your lunch break. If you are a
smoker check your temporary employer's protocol for when and
where you can smoke.
Attitude - these positions are your chance to impress
potential employers with not only your ability but also your
whole working attitude. Be prepared to take on any task which
is necessary, even if it does involve photocopying for hours
on end. Dedication, determination, a willingness to take part
and to work as part of a team, are highly sought after traits.
Reliability - one of the key qualities an agency looks
for. If you agree to take on a job make sure you fulfil your
obligations. However if you do find you cannot carry out any
work you have agreed to take on, (and sometimes this does
happen due to sickness or other unforeseen circumstances)
make sure you inform the temping agency as soon as possible
so they can find a replacement.
Temping can be a rewarding way to earn money, gain experience,
meet a wide range of people and work in a broad variety of
different environments and it could help you to determine
how you would like your future career to progress. Of course,
a professionally written CV is the first stage in securing
the positions you want. So, if you would like to make sure
that your CV doesn't let you down and leads you to the opportunities
you are looking for then The
CV Centre, the UK's leading CV Consultancy, can make sure
your CV gets you where you want to be.